I have sometimes indulged in the fantasy that I am at the gates of
Heaven. St. Peter questions me about what good I have done on
earth. I reply proudly that I have read and analyzed thousands
of comic books-a horrible task and really a labor of love. "That
counts for nothing," says St. Peter. "Millions of children read
these comic books." "Well," I reply, "I have also read all the
articles and speeches and press releases by the experts for the
defense [of comic books]." "Okay," says St. Peter. "Come in! You
deserve it."
- Fredric Wertham,
Seduction of the Innocent
The giant media conglomerate Televisa-which began as
a publisher of newspapers and comic books, and then ex-
panded into radio, television, and related industries-has
manufactured careers for many pop stars, including singer
Gloria Trevi. Trevi distinguished herself from other starlets
with a pose of calculated outrageousness; unlike the others, she controls
her own products and image, or so her publicity insists. She writes some of
the songs she sings, gives lengthy newspaper interviews discussing current
politics (more or less in the manner of a literate, left-wing naif), and even
wrote and drew her own comic book, starring herself
In I992, Trevi produced a calendar that featured twelve glossy color
photos of herself in lascivious poses, all but naked. Sold (along with the
usual range of comic books, magazines, and newspapers) at newsstands
across Mexico, the calendar quickly became a best-seller. It was much
more appealing than any other soft-core smut available in the country: less
expensive, less tawdry, wittier, more widely distributed, and with much
higher production values. But many Mexicans found Gloria Trevi's calen-
dar distressing, including-as the newspapers gleefully reported-her own
family. The calendar seemed more objectionable than similar mild pornog-
raphy, in part because of its popularity, but also because Trevi had already
made herself a symbol of female sexual license and youthful rebellion.'
Socially conservative citizens could not prevent Trevi from filling the
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